SEO Strategies 101 – Ideas That Help You Rank Better On Search Engines

SEO Strategies 101 – Ideas That Help You Rank Better On Search Engines

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Here’s the situation: You have either recently built your website or you’ve had a website for awhile and aren’t seeing your business show up on major search engines like Google yet. Or maybe they used to show up but over the course of a year or so the results page have buried you onto page three. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and remember how and why search engines choose you to show up on the pages and what may be causing your slip:

Clean Content-Driven Website. The goal of any website is to be clear, easy to use for the customers, and formatted in a proper way that search engines can read them better. A poorly built website can do more harm than good. The website is your professional business card online. It is the first impression that potential customers will see about who you are and what you can do for them. Make sure your website reflects the image you wish to say about your business. Make your site have the ability to engage a reason to or way to contact you on every page.

URL Structure is important. The URL is the first line of defense for your website to get ranked on search engines. This helps determine page rank for your website. The easier you can help search engines crawl your page and understand what the specific link is about, the better your rankings will perform. Keep your URL’s short, your main topic keyword involved in the link.

Use Keywords in the Content. When developing pages for websites it’s important to keep in mind the goal of that specific page. Make sure you use the keywords multiple times in your page, along with relevant information supporting this. Be cautious not to over stuff these keywords as this could have a negative reaction to search engines. These keywords should also appear in the Page Title, heading tags, Meta Descriptions, Image Alt Text and Meta Keywords for each page your focusing on.

Proper Heading Tag Structure. When you read the newspaper, or online articles there is always a headline telling you the main idea of the story. Heading tags are no different. This is, however, one of the biggest shortfalls websites don’t’ consider when building sites and pages. <H1> <H2> and <H3> Tags  (or Heading Tags) are very important in the structure of your website and sub-pages. These tags tell search engines the level of importance of the content on that specific page. You can easily check your website’s current heading tags by viewing them in HTML or asking your web designer.

Optimize your Images (ALT Text). The problem with most websites that were built in the early 2000’s, was that they were built on Flash or are inundated with pictures with little content supporting the site. The goal was to have a cool cutting-edge look you’re your business. The problem with flash-based and picture based websites are that search engines are text based and cannot read pictures or Flash.  Make sure every image on your website has the opportunity to put keywords behind them in the ALT text and File name of your page.

The Importance of Mobile Search. There was over 40% of organic traffic in 2014 coming from mobile devices. On April 21, 2015 Google announced that mobile renderings of the website will be factored into their algorithms and there could be a penalty down the road if your website is not mobile friendly. Making sure your website is mobile optimized in 2015 is imperative.

Register with Google Places/Yahoo Local. The goal of your website is to find yourself on Google and other main search engines. The first step for linking out would be creating a Google Places and Yahoo Local page. Registering with these search engines build credibility and authority to your website and are completely free. Learn more on what to do when building a website by visiting THIS.

Link it up. Just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come. You have to share it with the world. Find companies that have decent page rankings and offer the ability to link with your website. Search for your best keyword in the town you do business and write down what non-competitor websites show up and see if there’s an ability to network (link) with them. Some great websites you can link up with are Dexknows.com, Yellowpages.com or Superpages.com. Aggregator websites rank high with search engines and the more you are linked with them, the better your website results will improve over time.

You are Blacklisted/Put in the Sandbox. One of the most common reasons your website used to show up but isn’t now is because you haven’t updated it in a long time. The other most common reason is you have done something against Google, Yahoo or Bing’s Webmaster guidelines. This is often described as “Black Hat SEO.” You might have hired someone that did improper strategies to short cut your website for short term gains, but in the long term has penalized you on search engines.

Hire a SEO Analyst. There are many companies that offer Free SEO advice on their websites by subscribing or companies that call your business trying to sell you their SEO services. The best way to help your website gain traction would be interviewing everyone and taking notes about their suggestions for your site. Find the company that has a proven strategy and track record and don’t be afraid to spend money on proper SEO to fix these mistakes. Remember, you don’t go to page two to find results, and your customer’s won’t either. I’ll have another post discussing how to interview SEO companies to find the best one that fits your needs.

Build it Again. If all else fails and you’re not seeing the proper traction after 6-7 months of SEO changes, you might need to bite the bullet, spend the extra money and start over on building a new website. A SEO analyst will tell you initially if you might need to build a new website or not. Most of the errors on why business owner’s website don’t show up on search engines are due to the development of that individual’s website and the level of interaction with the site after the website is built. Remember Google changes their algorithm’s all the time and if you don’t have someone CONSTANTLY updating information or following their new guidelines, you will start to see your website slip in the rankings. New websites should be built on the industry standard WordPress format and should have plugins that help you analyze your website better.

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